According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Celtics fan who threw a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon. The fan in question was quickly dealt with after the game.
TD Garden has banned him indefinitely, and the Boston area police detained him at the arena. The police identified him as 21-year-old Cole Buckley.
This was Boston’s first home game with a sell-out crowd, and they spent the whole game booing Kyrie. He struggled during game 3 in Boston but picked up his play in game 4. After the game, a fan appeared to throw a water bottle at Kyrie, which narrowly missed him.
This incident comes at a time when the NBA is struggling with fan behavior. The return of large crowds has brought unruly fans causing multiple incidents. Last week 5 fans were banned after a multitude of incidents occurred during the playoff games. nvolved Ja Morant’s family, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and others.
After this game, multiple players commented on the incident:
“Eighteen thousand people in the building, I guess in every arena there are a few bad seeds, I don’t want that to overshadow the rest of the fans who came and supported us tonight…but obviously there is no place in the NBA for throwing anything at a player.”Jayson Tatum commenting on the fan incident postgame
“You can see that people just feel very entitled out here, they paid for their tickets—great, I’m grateful that they’re coming in to watch a great performance. But we’re not at the theater. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing.”Kyrie Irving talking postgame
The Nets beat the Celtics in game 4 of their playoff series, behind great efforts from their big 3. Kyrie Irving had 39 points silencing a hostile Celtics crowd in his best game of the series. Celtics fans were not happy by the end of the game.
The responsibility falls on the league and the organizations to prevent these issues. The current situation is unfair because the players shouldn’t have to deal with this fan behavior.